Originally appeared in Planet Jackson Hole

How to remain calm and receptive as you gather with family this holiday season.

In the spirit of upcoming family holidays, I thought it might be interesting to share some cosmic perspectives about family and familial relationships. Consider this big picture perspective particularly as you interact with family members whose viewpoints differ from your own.

The Ideal Environment

From a metaphysical perspective, we have two lineages. Families are simultaneously a gathering of genetically related people, and they are also a gathering of souls who may or may not have any prior soulful or past life connection to each other.

The common link-which includes family members who have been adopted-is that the positives and negatives in that family grouping are exactly what each person needs for choosing to become their best self, regardless of what it may appear. So from a soul perspective, it's the ideal set up for you to learn what you are intended to learn, and how you grow from your positive and negative family experiences.

Part One: Genetic Lineage

The metaphysical perspective is that while the physical body is developing in the womb, the soul magnetizes from the gene pool of each parent, the genetic content which will serve as the best "software" for the soul's journey this lifetime. The spiritual truth is that, regardless of our opinion, everything in our genetic make-up is intended as purposeful support, leading us to the personal growth and contributions the soul is intending this time around.

Another part of the soul's intentional "software" includes the geographic location and the emotional and socio-economic environment in which we grow up. For those who are adopted, this part of your software is provided by your adoptive parents. Things we appreciated while growing up, we can emulate. What we did not like, we can leave behind.

Part Two: Soul Lineage

Everyone has a soul, the eternal part of who we are. A metaphysical perspective is that our souls are on an infinite journey of incarnation experiences back to Source. In each life we are here to learn and to contribute. It follows that we may have shared past lives with some of the souls who are now family. You've likely had the experience of feeling an easy, deep connection with certain family members and relatives more than with others. This is a reflection of "recognizing" their soul from a previous, positive relationship. You may be interacting with other souls in the family for the first time. What matters, however, is what you do with it all now.

From the soul perspective, souls come together as a family because they are working on common themes in their individual evolution. Each person has their own soulful "back story" and their own current personality strengths and issues, which contributes to a family's overall ethos. Some family members are helpful with each other's evolution by being supportive. Meanwhile, others unwittingly push each other where they need to be headed in life simply by not being supportive.

Useful Questions

Try on a positive spin related to inherited traits, the family environment growing up, and what your soul is intending to learn.

You might ask yourself:

Growing up in your family, what did you love and what do you choose to maintain? What did you not care for and have you therefore happily upgraded in your own life?

What would you say is the issue, the common theme everyone in your family of origin is/was tackling in one way or another?

Most important, are you focusing on being your best self, and are you actively upgrading your wellbeing?

Accept and Move Forward

As always, there is help if you need it. We can all change if we want to and are willing to do the work. Keep in mind that everyone in every family is doing the best they can, given their present circumstances and past life experiences. Once you truly embrace this, compassion flows, forgiveness grows and you are free to be the best version of who you truly are. PJH